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Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

Eavesdropping By Cops Does Not Pay Off In Florida Courtrooms

The 4th DCA (District Court of Appeals) recently affirmed a lower court’s evidentiary ruling, which may have far reaching exclusions on statements a defendant makes to third parties, when the statements are overheard by others, including Law Enforcement Officer. See, State v. Topps, at 3730009 WL 4th DCA 2014. The issue on appeal in State v. Topps, was a case of first impression for a Florida court to decide, and the question posed was: “may a law enforcement officer testify about a conversation overheard between an arrestee he is guarding and the psychotherapist treating that person?” The Appellate court found that because the person in custody did not waive the confidentiality of any privilege that the arrestee has with his doctor, and because the arrestee was in custody, and because… […]

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In Florida leaving a child in the Car is Not Illegal

Under Florida law, Section 316.6135, it is not unlawful to leave a child in an automobile. Whether you believe it is prudent or unwise is a personal preference. This blog only addresses the law in Florida and not moral or personal preferences. The law in Florida regarding “parents” and “caretakers” who leave their child in an automobile is stated as follows: A parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for a child, younger than 6 years of age, may not leave the child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle, for a period in excess of 15 minutes. Florida Statute Annotated Section 316.6135. In order for the State Attorney to successfully prosecute someone under this statute, the prosecutor must show the following four (4) factors or elements. First, the… […]

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Booked For Questioning or Being Under Arrest: Know Your Legal Rights

Being under arrest can be a frightening experience, but it’s not an experience all people identify immediately. An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation or prevention of crime and presenting (the arrestee) to a procedure as part of the criminal justice system. Arrest, when used in its ordinary and natural sense, means the apprehension of a person or the deprivation of a person’s liberty. The question whether the person is under arrest or not depends not on the legality of the arrest, but on whether the person has been deprived of personal liberty of movement. When used in the legal sense in the procedure connected with criminal offenses, an arrest consists in the taking into custody… […]

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Florida Supreme Court Rejects Car Color Criminal Case: Puts Brakes on Cops!

The Florida Supreme Court, in a landmark decision put the brakes on over policing Sheriff Deputies, who stop vehicles for “innocent” behavior and then form reasonable suspicion to search the driver, the occupants and their vehicles in Violation of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution. In State v. Teamer, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a Sheriff acts unlawfully and unconstitutionally, when stopping drivers of automobiles, on the basis or suspicion of the vehicles color. Law Enforcement Officials in Florida are scanning every license plate that they drive behind on the Florida roads. The “tag” information is then ran through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. The information is stored in a computer data based system, which keeps track of the vehicle. In Teamer, the vehicle was… […]

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Medical Marijuana Law Passes, Rendering Florida’s Criminal Marijuana Laws Unconstitutional

Florida Drug Laws made be out of touch with “new” science and the new law passed by Governor Scott as it pertains to Schedule I narcotics. Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Florida’s Medical Marijuana Bill into effect. The new law allows limited use of “charlotte’s web” Marijuana, a strain of Marijuana with low tetrahydrocannidinol or THC, the active ingredient responsible for the high in Marijuana. The purpose of the law is to allow patients who are suffering from diseases like: epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease to seek relief from pain, to allow for appetite and to provide reduction or elimination of tremors and seizures. So this new Florida Marijuana Law with the updated science shown through its passage arguable renders Florida’s Comprehensive… […]

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Cellphone Site Location Details as Evidence in Florida Criminal Cases

Recently, a Federal Appellate Court for the 11th Circuit, the same Circuit which presides over the Districts of Florida, made a very important ruling as to the issue of whether “cell site location information” is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution that guarantees against warrant-less searches. The story of this criminal case is played out every day throughout Florida courtrooms. The Prosecutor, through the use of a detective from the Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement or local police agency obtains the cellphone number of a criminal defendant. The detective then requests, without a warrant, the tracking locations of the cellphone tower records. The cellphone provider, usually Metro PCS or another throw away cellphone company with no contract and pay per minute plans, gladly hands… […]

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Wrongfully Convicted Cases, Statistics and Criminal Defense Lawyer Experience

Wrongfully Convicted Cases, Statistics and Criminal Defense Lawyer Experience

Wrongful Conviction A miscarriage of justice primarily is the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime they did not commit. The term can also apply to errors in the other direction—”errors of impunity” and to civil cases. Most criminal justice systems have some means to overturn, or “quash”, a wrongful conviction, but this is often difficult to achieve. The most serious instances occur when a wrongful conviction is not overturned for several years, or until after the innocent person has been executed or died in jail. “Miscarriage of justice” is sometimes synonymous with wrongful conviction, referring to a conviction reached in an unfair or disputed trial. Wrongful convictions are frequently cited by death penalty opponents as cause to eliminate death penalties to avoid executing innocent persons. In recent… […]

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Corruption in the Florida Judiciary

Corruption that is rampant in the Florida Judiciary is no more apparent than in the case of Judge Ana I. Gardiner of Broward County, Florida. This former Judge, Ana I. Gardiner, has been recently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court but the questions linger as to how deep her corruption has cut into the Broward County court system. Particularly the questions linger as to the sentences, rulings, determinations of facts, orders signed and all her overall actions while on the bench presiding over men and women who were facing criminal prosecutions in front of this twisted woman. Former Judge, Ana I. Gardiner of Broward County, Florida has illuminated the reasons why the judiciary system is broken-human nature has frailty. But these frailties possessed by this evil Judge are not only… […]

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Florida Law Enforcement, Drones, And The Fourth Amendment

What does Florida Law say about Law Enforcement Officers using drones or unmanned aircraft to search property of Florida land owners?  Florida legislatures in their wisdom, during the 23rd Legislative session, and through the signature of Governor Rick Scott, provided all Floridians with preservation of freedom from unlawful 4th Amendment spying through unmanned drone use by law enforcement officers. But did they go far enough in protecting Floridians 4th Amendment Rights to unreasonable searches of their real property against drone abuses? Florida Gen Stat. 934.50 prohibits use of drones or unmanned aircraft from gathering evidence or information from Floridians that does not purport with the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution. This means that drones or unmanned aircraft cannot be lawfully be flown indiscriminately over your “real property” with… […]

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Court Rules Duval County Judge Violated 1st Amendment

Appellate Court rules that Duval County, Jacksonville Circuit Court, Judge usurped the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and the Rules of Florida when the judge ruled the media could not be present inside a courtroom during jury selection.  In a highly publicized criminal homicide trial of Michael Dunn in Duval County on one count of murder in the first degree, three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile into a vehicle, the Duval County Judge granted the State Attorney’s motion to keep all media out of the courtroom during jury selection. This judge, like many Florida trial judges, ruled in favor of the State Attorney to take away the rights of the People of Florida to have an… […]

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